What is a business process management (BPM) workflow?

Business process workflow graphics

For businesses looking to improve efficiency, one of the most comprehensive options is Business Process Management (BPM). Unlike similar services, such as project management or quality management, which focus on specific areas, BPM adopts a holistic approach to improving all processes across an organisation. Integral to BPM are the workflows that map out a business process from beginning to end. If you’re reading this, then it's likely you’re seeking a deeper understanding of what a BPM workflow achieves. Read on for the answers to all your BPM questions.

What is BPM?

Every business operates a complex weave of tasks and activities that must work in synchronicity for smooth operation. However, many companies contend with multiple systems, scattered processes, and significant inefficiencies. BPM's role is to orchestrate the organisation and improvement of these tasks.

BPM examines every process to determine the best way to handle it. It focuses not just on completing tasks, but on finding the most efficient and effective methods.

For example, in a financial services company, BPM would incorporate compliance measures within processes, automating necessary checks and updating tasks immediately when regulatory guidelines change. This approach saves time, mitigates non-compliance risks, and is just one example of how BPM can refine processes across a business ecosystem, leveraging cutting-edge technology for tracking, automating, and predictive analytics.

Play the below video from 8:25 to hear our Founder, Kit Cox chat about what a BPM is on the Real AI Now podcast

Is a BPM workflow the same as BPM?

BPM is the overarching strategy for streamlining operations, but BPM workflow refers to the blueprint of how a task or process is completed. It accounts for every step from A to B, establishing who is responsible for each part and the order in which it should happen.

Take employee onboarding as an example. Typically, onboarding starts with welcome emails, contracts, and initial documentation. Next, new starters are set up in the system. On the employee’s first day, they will likely undergo an induction, introducing them to the company's inner workings, followed by more paperwork, login information, and initial training. Each of these steps is an integral part of the onboarding workflow.

By employing modern BPM tools, much of this workflow, and many others, can be automated. Where previously lengthy manual procedures consumed time and resources, a workflow platform can handle repetitive administrative tasks efficiently, reducing errors, improving consistency, and ensuring nothing is overlooked.

Why do BPM workflows exist?

Let's cover the primary purposes of business process management workflows…

  • Clarity and organization: Assembling flat-pack furniture is much harder without instructions. Similarly, BPM workflows provide essential directions for every business process, ensuring each employee knows their tasks and how and when to execute them.
  • Efficiency: Without a workflow, processes are prone to inefficiencies, delays, and mistakes. BPM workflows streamline operations by eliminating unnecessary steps for optimal execution.
  • Consistency and quality control: Workflows standardize procedures, ensuring they are completed consistently every time, which maintains product and service quality.
  • Accountability: BPM workflows define who is responsible for each step, removing uncertainty and preventing tasks from being missed or delayed.
  • Scalability and adaptability: As businesses grow, BPM workflows can be scaled and adapted to accommodate increased demand and complexity.
  • Performance tracking and improvement: With BPM workflows, tracking task performance and identifying bottlenecks is simplified, allowing businesses to target areas for improvement.
  • Compliance and risk management: BPM workflows can include compliance measures, ensuring adherence to regulations like GDPR, and reducing legal risk.

Common challenges faced with traditional BPM workflows

While BPM workflows offer many benefits, there are challenges when integrating them into business operations:

  • Inflexibility: Once established, modifying a BPM workflow to accommodate new tasks or business needs can be challenging.
  • Complexity and implementation difficulty: Implementing a BPM workflow, especially in larger organizations, can be a complex and time-consuming task.
  • High running costs: The expense of purchasing, customizing, and maintaining BPM software can be significant, particularly for smaller businesses.
  • Clunky user experience: If BPM tools are not intuitive, substantial training may be required for staff to use them confidently.
  • IT reliance: Extensive IT involvement for setup and maintenance of many BPM solutions can strain resources.
  • Lack of integration with existing systems: Effective BPM tools need to integrate seamlessly with existing software, and compatibility issues can create information silos and workflow hindrances.
  • Limited customization options: The varying needs of businesses may not be met by BPM platforms with limited customization capabilities.
  • Slow response to market changes: Legacy systems and complex processes can hinder a BPM system's ability to adapt quickly to market changes.
  • Data security and privacy concerns: Ensuring compliance with data security and privacy laws is crucial, but not all BPM tools meet these standards.

How Enate stands out from traditional BPMs

Enate has been purposefully engineered to deliver world-class services right from the start. Whereas other low-code BPM platforms require considerable time and effort to train before use and are inflexible, Enate provides out-of-the-box functionalities, such as assignment accuracy and SLA tracking, so you can get started straight away.

Ticketing, case management, and SLA management services are available from the get-go. Ready-to-use AI functionalities are also on hand to categorise emails, measure service sentiment, and extract valuable data from documents.

Enate facilitates a swift launch, typically within six weeks, compared to market competitors that can take a year. Not only is set-up faster but it’s also more cost-effective. Unlike other systems that require expensive ongoing configuration and maintenance, Enate’s BPM workflow platform allows operational teams to handle much of the day-to-day management.

Enate wraps around your current tech stack and its simple drag-and-drop interface means anyone in your business can be trained to use it.

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Enate Team